- Qasim Hirsi Farah
Gender discrimination is one of the most outstanding problems discoursed in the modern academic and political arenas. Despite the objection of the modern human rights’ articles and the new civilization, many of the contemporary local cultures and customary laws favor male over female. Specifically, in the Muslim world, the concept of one man is equal to two women has been a long-rooted tradition to the extent that some Muslim clerks considered it part of Islamic Law. There are several issues, which are taken as primary evidence by some Muslim clerks for the unequal treatment of women. The traditional difference in the amount of compensation, which should be given to the victims if a woman’s life is eliminated, has been among a number of justifications employed by these clerks. Thus, the concept has been adopted in many Muslim and Non-Muslim cultures. However, Islamic Law commands and encourages gender equality and in no way orders or condones gender discrimination in any circumstance, be it in the event of compensating or decompensating.
This scholarly paper will explain and demonstrate the matter according to the comprehensive principle of Islamic law. It ascertains that, in Islamic Law, absolute equality and equity is provided in compensation for both men and women’s lives and other forms of blood compensation. On the other hand, the paper will use clear-cut proves and primary evidence to expose the discrepancies and weak arguments put forward by some Muslim commentators who use fabricated traditions to justify their position. This paper indicates that those traditionalists never refer to Islamic Law, which should be deducted from the Qur’an, but too old Arabian cultural tradition. Technically, for clarification, the word “Blood money” will be frequently used throughout the content of this paper, because it stands for the Arabic term “Diya”, meaning the amount of compensation should be paid for the victims of the slain person.
Finally, the conclusion arrived in this paper will be drawn from the essential evidence taken from the Quranic injunction and analogical examples. These injunctions and examples explicitly prove that men and women are equal in their humanity and human rights and responsibilities.Introduction
Allah says: “Whoever slays a believer a set purpose his reward is Hell forever. God is with against him and he cursed him and prepared for him an awful punishment” In fact, Islam introduced absolute gender equality in all rights and responsibilities by assigning them an equal rank before God. In jurisprudential matters, Islam promotes substantive equality of men and women and emphasized the preservation of that law. In this respect, Islam strictly protects the rights of both genders equally, even where they may differ in physical responsibilities according to the difference of their biological nature. In certain occasions, Islamic jurists may discretionary recognize the two genders’ natural differences in their unique physical and emotional capabilities. Based on their strengths, they may describe each gender’s tasks and duties separately as a matter of job description, and this is not by the Islamic jurists only, but all kinds of decision-makers and administrators. There is a certain limit of kilometers allocated for women runners which must be less than that of the men. For instance, where women run 200 km, men would run more than 300 km.
As for Islamic legal sources, Qur’an is the first and the most authentic source of Islamic Law – Shari’ah. Whatever is not mentioned in the Qur’an is likely permissible unless it is proven as harmful to the human body, mind, or good interest by a qualified specialist. In case, the judgment of a certain incident is not found in the Qur’an, a judge should resort to the Prophetic tradition (hereafter Hadith, Ahadith in the plural form, or Sunnah) as a second branch of the Shari’ah’s primary source. Prophetic tradition is known as the combination of the prophet’s sayings, acts, and affirmations. Again, if that judgment is found neither in the Qur’an nor in the Prophetic tradition, then there are three secondary sources, which a Muslim Judge may resort to. The latter three secondary sources include Analogy-Qiyas, Consensus-Ijma’ and finally Ijtihad- Personal Reasoning as 3rd, 4th, and 5th sources of Shari’ah respectively. Islamic jurisprudence is made of collective legal sources that make the core of Shari’ah. The latter two, Consensus and Analogy which are of the secondary sources of the Islamic Law must conform in principle to the Qur’an and Sunnah- the primary sources.
Sadly, some jurists indulge in deducing evidence from weak Ahadiths and personal opinions that may be contradictory to Quranic injunctions. No doubt, this makes them inadvertently preferring personal opinions and hearsays over the Qur’an. In short, a manifestation that may result in a dispute between the rights of male and female has no place in Islam for the below-stated evidence.